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Sunday, August 22, 2010

X Factor: Victorian bear baiting at its worst

I shudder at the hype surrounding the return of the X Factor.

In Victorian times, crowds gathered for freak shows, to marvel at "special people". The X Factor doesn't bother to sanitise it thus. Its researchers tirely comb the mile long queues of hopefuls to find The Stories: young man trying to send Grandma to Lourdes; white daughter of black parents sobbing about wanting to make them proud; very large girl wanting to become Barbra Streisand.

And then the deluded who don't realise they can't sing, but will now have their flat, brave voices subjected to ridicule.

As for the talent, well, a handful of average youngsters are pushed through for the public's delectation, brutally groomed, styled and made to sing old standards. Simon Cowell reckons he can probably turn anyone into a star, Dustin the turkey or Paul the octopus. But he can't. Remember Steve Brookstein?

Meanwhile the two vacuous, averagely talented clothes horses sitting beside Cowell weep on cue and compete to see who can wear the most attention grabbing outfits. Quite what their credentials are for judging a talent competition it's hard to say, but then this is not a talent show.

The winners are ruthlessly milked, paraded with new albums every time a new series airs (Alexandrea Burke, currently appearing everywhere) and equally ruthlessly dropped when the public tires of them, unless, like one or two rare exceptions, they tire of Cowell and make it on their own.

I stopped watching it in 2007 when Emma Chawner (very large girl wanting to be Barbara Streisand) appeared. Camera panned slowly to her family, all very large, glaring at Cowell in the wings. His expression, disgust, superiority, you name it - but no pity - said it all.


Daph said...

I'm definately with you on X Factor. The auditons are excrutiating.

Maggie May said...

This seems to be absolute torture and I don't know why they have people queuing up to put themselves through it.
I don't watch it now either.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Wendy said...

Hi Gail, thanks for visiting me and the wish for my birthday :-) I'll certainly be visiting you again.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree that public humiliation is.... well, kind of excruciating. Not so much entertaining.

Thanks for visiting my blog! (We reverse triangles have to stick together. I like your sensibility and I am following you now!)

Baby, Buggy Boat said...

Hear, hear - god I hate it. I'm out of the country of the moment so thankfully I am spared - for this season at least.

TechnoBabe said...

Most people don't understand it, but my hubby and I don't watch any TV. We haven't for over five years. It is so much freedom. We hear about some television shows here and there but have not seen anything in all these years. If we are in a restaurant and someone turns on a television we usually leave. Especially if it is news. They still use the term news but it is not news. I hope things are going well for you otherwise, I checked out your other blog too.